February 4. 2018
1 Corinthians 9:16-23
“Hello, Jack speaking?” “Can I speak to Jenny?” “Sorry, my wife’s out. Won’t be back till late.” “May I leave a message?” “Sure.” “Tell her that she has been short-listed for the job and needs to be at our office at ten o clock tomorrow morning for an interview.” Now Jack, the responsibility rests on you! Don’t forget.! You have been entrusted with an important message. Your wife depends on you to deliver that message. So also, we, the Church, have been entrusted with an important message for the people of the world. It’s called Gospel or Good News. However, the task is not as straight forward as it is for Jack. The message was first delivered about two thousand years ago in a foreign language to people who had a very different view of the world from the one that we hold today and variations to the message have crept in over the years. And to communicate that message to people in different time periods or in different cultural environments the message has had to be translated into different languages or forms of expression and we all know that something can be lost in any process of translation. The writings of the New Testament understood, as far as possible, in their historical and cultural context, give us the Gospel which we are to hand on to people of our own time and place. To do this requires that we express the message in ways that can be understood by people of our time and place. Paul implied this variation in presentation when he said, “I have become all things to all people” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). OK, so there are difficulties, however, we have no other option, an obligation has been laid upon us and woe to us if we do not proclaim the Gospel (! Corinthians 9: 16). A reading of Mark 1:35-39 gives us a sense of the urgency that Jesus felt there to be about telling the message to as many people as possible.
- When have you forgotten to deliver a message or got it mixed up in trying to deliver it?
- Jesus felt an urgency about getting his message across. Is there still an urgency today? If so what makes it to be urgent?
- In your own words, what do you think is the core message that we, the Church, have to convey to the people of today?
- How can we best make the Gospel known to people today?